God bless Bandcamp. It’s sort of like this generation’s Macola Records, an easy-to-use device that lets unsigned artists get their music out to the public. Sure, there’s a lack of quality control on Bandcamp. but it allows anyone with a decent computer to become a recording artist, and it allows artists an easy way to get their music out there.
Scrilicon is rappers Scrilla V and John?Doe, two rappers that hail from the Scrilicon (ie Silicon) Valley. John?Doe has recently put out some projects with Indiana rapper Sankofa as the Silversmiths. Scrilla V is a longtime hip-hop fan who has been writing raps since the 90s and decided to return to the mic and focus on his music.
They’ve teamed up with several indie beatmakers for this album. They try out a variety of styles, from the trippy backpack of “Crescendo and Cascade” to the club rap of “Shoulder Sway.” They spend a good portion of the album doing sub-Waka street rap, a look that doesn’t fit their rap styles. Neither Doe nor Scrilla V have the necessary menace or mouth-breathing swagger to make tracks like “Wile Out” or “Where My Dollaz At?” work. Their strongest moments are the rap en espanol track “En Mi Sangre,” featuring Smarts, and “Karma,” featuring Sankofa.
Of the two, Doe is the more accomplished rapper. Scrilla V. drops some solid bars, but it still honing his craft. In the end, “2 Steps Left of Center” is an interesting look at two ultra-indie rappers, and might be worth checking out if you want to hear what Silicon Valley rap sounds like.